Stolen laptop prompts breach notification at LSU Health

Louisiana State University Health School of Medicine, based in New Orleans, is notifying patients of a data breach after a laptop was stolen from a faculty member's car. The protected health information of approximately 5,000 minor patients has been compromised.

According to the system's notification, the laptop was stolen between the evening of July 16 and the morning of July 17. The car was parked in front of the faculty member's home.

Patient information stored on the laptop includes patient names, birth dates, treatment dates, descriptions of patients' conditions, treatments and outcomes, lab test results, radiological and ultrasound images, medical record numbers, diagnosis information and treatment information. No financial information, bank account numbers, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers were compromised.

After learning of the breach, LSU Health tried to reconstruct the files that may have been stored on the laptop to identify patients whose information may have been compromised. However, the data were stored to the laptop's hard drive and not to the system's servers, so the system is unable to identify specific patients whose information has been breached. The system sent notifications to those patients who it suspects may have been affected.

LSU Health is unaware of any inappropriate access or use of the data.

Editor's note: This article was updated Sept. 21 at 12:42 pm CST to update the proper city of LSU Health.

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